Calgary Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid has consistently battled a neck injury over the last couple seasons. Flames general manager Brad Treliving announced Thursday that Smid will sit out the entire 2016-17 season recovering from that neck injury.
Smid only saw 22 games of action last year and 31 the season before that.
The decision to hold him out for the season means that Smid will be eligible for long-term injured reserve during the final season of his four-year contract that carries a $3.5 million AAV and $4 million in actual salary.
#Flames GM Brad Treliving has announced Ladislav Smid will not play this season due to his neck injury.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 22, 2016
While Smid has not decided on whether or not he will retire, he will sit aside for the whole season to work toward getting fully healthy again. It’s a rare step for a team to shut down a player in this manner before training camp even opens and that casts doubt on his future.
The team has played without him pretty regularly, so the current defensive group is down a defenseman, but it’s not a defenseman that they’re used to creating pairings with. Additionally, the Flames have signed Nicklas Grosmann to a tryout contract. He’ll join the team at training camp to vie for a roster spot.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.